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« Why Is It Important? | Main | Welcome to Philly. Down on the Ground, Now! »

May 11, 2008


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If you live in an urban area with limited parking, a smart car looks good, too.

If you live in an urban area with limited parking, a smart car looks good, too.

Yeah, Mithras, perhaps next time you should try one out in an urban area with limited parking, and then get back to us.

Aren't these made by Mercedes,though? I would have thought the build quality would be better.

As a bicyclist, I completely support people buying these, though - they seem so easy to tip over, and in a collision I might atually have the upper hand.

Since Center City doesn't cut it, I'll try one in Hong Kong.

I always thought it was about where the thing hit you, not how big it was. If it's low to the ground, it's likely to break your leg and throw you over it. If it hits you in the ribs, it'll knock you down and maybe that's the end of it, or maybe they run you over, too.

My advice: Invent personal airbags for bicycles.

Thanks for the review. I had been wondering if they were as impractical and unsafe as they looked.

I'll put a good word in for the Honda Fit. Handles nicely (I actually enjoy driving it, which is saying a lot), eminently parkable, and the interior is indeed (as one of the Balloon Juice commenters described it) "TARDIS-like". Terrible name, but we decided to just go with it, and named ours 'Hissy'.

Hilarious. I've never named a car, though I have called some names. There's a real name your car/naming your car never occurs to you divide.

Well, one's impression of the safety of a car isn't really a good measure of actual safety. The fact is (to quote a popular troll on S,N!) that the smart ranks very well for a small car. (For those inclined to read German.) Resale value here (i.e. Germany) for smarts is very high, owing to the fact that they have proven to be extremely reliable.

I haven't seen the smarts as they're sold in the US, but the ones here don't give (me) an impression of low/poor build quality.

They are (far too) expensive (try 10K Euros incl. VAT), but to be honest I found the engine fine for a small car that isn't intended to spend much time on the highway. (Its top speed of 90 mph is electronically limited -- the engine could do more, but there's only so much a small car can be expected to manage in a collision at a higher speed).

[In the interest of full disclosure, I will note that my wife and many friends was/are employed by smart.]

I ran an original 600cc smart for five years and loved it. I got my first ever speeding ticket in the smart (My previous car was a Citroen CX GTi) The computer s adaptive, it learns your driving style. The trick to a smooth ride is to leave it in auto and not to move your right foot. Gentle acceleration, smooth changes at low revs. High acceleration it hangs on to the red line before each change. What killed it for me was Mercedes labour rates or I would still have it. These days I drive a Honda Insight and I can service that myself.

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